Ever heard of Twitch? Here’s how your business can use it… Source: XanderSt/Shutterstock

Why your marketing team should be using Twitch

OWNED by e-commerce giant Amazon, Twitch was launched as one of the first live-video platforms in 2006. But now, 12 years later, the platform has morphed into something much larger, and marketers should listen up.

With over 100 million unique users, 15 million of whom are watching or broadcasting every single day, and over half of the users watching more than 20 hours of content each week, businesses can definitely use Twitch to capitalize on this market.

Originally primarily used as a gaming platform, over the last year Twitch has been expanding rapidly to market itself as much more relevant to the business sphere.

And it’s popularity in Asia is growing.

Michael Aragon, Twitch’s Senior Vice President of Content remarked last year that South Korea and Japan are its first and third-fastest-growing markets respectively, according to the Japan Times. And the market grows double each year.

Twitch also reported viewers in Asia are spending roughly three times as much time watching content as the average viewer.

So, how can your company use it?

Building communities is at the heart of Twitch; it’s all about people.

It’s a sharing platform which, unlike fellow video site YouTube, focuses on community and steers clear from algorithms so users only see the notifications they want to.

Any wise business person knows that what the younger generation is choosing to do is a signifier for the future of marketing and with 55 percent of Twitch’s audience being made up of people under 35, what users are choosing to watch can be a real signpost for where business will go next.

But, how can you actually make money using Twitch?

As a part of the supportive and fun online community, people are certainly willing to part with some cash to interact with the brands and personalities they care about.

You can capitalize off gamifying your community, creating a fun environment for your user base to connect with you.

While following a channel is free, followers will be notified when you go live. If they want to subscribe to your channel and have advertising removed, it will cost a monthly fee of US$4.99, US$9.99 or US$24.99 depending on whether they select a Tier 1, 2 or 3 package.

You are in charge of what Tier 1, 2 and 3 subscribers receive for their money which could range from anything including emotes (images of faces in your audience used like emojis so users can express themselves in chatrooms) all the way up to T-shirts or monthly events and ‘hangouts’.

You are totally in control of what you want to give subscribers so can make it as personal as you like.

The more you engage and the more incentives you give, the more likely it is that users will want to subscribe, and the better the rewards for your company.

Users are also able to donate or give a ‘bit’ to a channel. Bits are essentially tips: one bit is equivalent to one penny and users buy these in bulk then gift them to content creators when something they like happens.

As a new user, you will benefit from 50 percent of the revenue from bits and subscriptions, however, as your channel grows you will be given the opportunity to boost this to 70 percent.

Donations are a little different from bits in that they go directly to the creator, so you receive 100 percent of the money.

You can also use influencers to market yourself through Twitch. If there are creators who are posting content relevant to your brand, see if you can align yourself with their market and collaborate. Live streams are particularly effective for building a community by connecting with your audience.

The key to success at live streaming is undeniably authenticity. People are drawn to what is real, human and happening now. They want personality, engagement and fun.

That is not to say you cannot be professional in the way you conduct it. You need to find the right balance between raw unfiltered content which makes your audience feel more connected to you and professional conduct.

Create a combination of fun content with serious content which is there for a clear purpose.

If you are searching for ways to boost engagement Twitch can be a great way to learn the ropes. The platform is full of fun marketing ideas you can apply to your social media strategy.

For companies just starting out in the world of video marketing or wanting to develop authentic and engaging ways of connecting with your audience, Twitch can be a great place to learn in an organic and natural way.

But remember, Twitch is not the place for webinars or pitches, it is a community and not a marketing website. Be savvy about how you use it by engaging your audience but not going in with a hard-sell.

You can use interactive sessions to connect with users in the chatrooms, building a bond with your audience around your shared content.

While marketers can grow their skills, developing a more people-centric approach bound for success, the young audience can learn how to turn their passions into a business. Companies preparing for the future should make sure they are one step ahead of this union.